1. RE-RE-AMENDED PARTICULARS OF JUSTIFICATION AND FAIR COMMENT
Employees of McDonald's have to work extremely hard and yet the rates of
pay are low world-wide. The rates of pay for employees covered by the Wages
Council are at or near the minimum prescribed rates. No overtime is paid.
Further, it is the Defendant's case that partly through Its policy and practice
of recruiting young people McDonald's are able to maintain such low pay
throughout its restaurants. Over 60% of the Second Plaintiff's employees
are aged between 16 and 20.
In particular in the United Kingdom as a result of the Wages Act 1986 McDonald's
is no longer bound to pay any minimum rate of pay to employees aged under
Low paid work is often the only work available to women and black people.
Staff turnover at McDonald's is high, staff often work in poor and unsafe
conditions including understaffing which results in pressure to work fast,
long hours and authoritarian management.
McDonald's is known to have broken the law relating to the employment of
young people including committing criminal offences under the Shops Act
McDonald's hostility to trade unions is world-wide. In Australia and Ireland
long disputes have taken place between McDonald's and trade unionists. In
the Federal Republic of Germany McDonald's refuses to allow union representation
and collective bargaining and in 1979 an employee in the Personnel Department
at McDonald's in Germany sent out a circular emphatically advising managers
not to hire trade union members.
In San Francisco in the early 1970's McDonald's were refused licences to
open restaurants because of their low pay and attitude to trade unions.
During the resulting dispute between McDonald's and the Board of Permit
Appeals it was discovered that McDonald's had been forcing their prospective
and/or existing employees to submit to lie-detector tests during which they
were asked about trade union sympathies. Refusal was grounds for dismissal.
In the United Kingdom the trade unions which might be expected to number
McDonald's employees among their members have very few or no such members.
Further, McDonald's does not negotiate with any trade unions. inhibits trade
union activities and recruitment of members.
The Defendants also rely on passages from the book called "McDonald's
Behind the Arches" written by John F. Love and approved by McDonald's.
In particular the Defendants rely on the passage set out at page 397 of
the said book which deals with the work of McDonald's Ombudsman John Cooke
in restricting trade union activity and effectiveness.
In Ontario, Canada during 1993/4, McDonalds were hostile to a trade union
recognition campaign in their store. A majority signed up for the Union
(SEIU). A court case followed. A second vote was agreed. McDonald's undermined
trade union sympathies.
Beijing, China, 1993. In or around 1993, workers at the Beijing store expressed
grievances over low pay, reduced hours, lack of `perks' and unsuitable clothing.
They produced leaflets and a representative, Mr. Tung, appeared on TV appealing
Phillipines, Makati, in or around 1981-3. The authorities refused McDonald's
a licence to set up a store following a boycott campaign. McDonald's responded
with specially designed `information' placemats (including admitting they
were changing traditional employment practices with regard to the employment
of young people) at its franchisee `McGeorge' stores.
Las Palmas, canary Islands, 1993. Following a trade union campaign, the
McDonald's Playa del Ingles store was fined 13 million pesetas and closed
down by the authorities. This was as a result of the practice of paying
staff as `trainees', their wages being fraudulently subsidised by the State.
The stores were inspected by the Ministry of Works and Social Security on
or around 13.5.93 and 8.7.93.
Norway 1993. On October 28th 1993 McDonald's finally conceded a `collective
agreement' with the HRAF Union after many years of hostility to Union rights.
A previous attempt by the Union to achieve this resulted in union members
getting special treatment to discourage membership and activity. The agreement
was only signed after the HRAF had prepared for a strike. Around this time
some under 18 year old staff had worked illegal hours.
Iceland, 1993. McDonald's refused to negotiate directly with trade unions
over pay rates and conditions and illegally refused to deduct Union dues
direct from employees. After trade unions threatened to launch a boycott
campaign the company conceded.
New Jersey, USA, 1991. Jeffrey Miller worked for 15 months (2700 hrs) as
a `trainee' franchisee, but received no pay. Initial 'positive evaluations'
ended after he complained of the cockroaches and rats at a store in New
Providence and of the improper procedures used to handle food there. He
sued McDonald's and the court case was due to begin on March 28th 1994.
King St, W. London 1993. In or around early 1993 Jeffrey Shaul was sacked
over a dispute for the right to go to the toilet during work time.
Epsom 1990. Staff member Melanie O'Riordan was injured when she slipped
and fell as she was being expected to work at speed during the busy lunch
period on 22.6.1990. There had been oil on the floor. She suffered permanent
arm damage but was offered no financial compensation. Soon after this new
grip flooring replaced the old floor cover. In or around 1987 at the same
store Samuel Hoare slipped and his arm went into a fry vat.
Doncaster during 1990. Timesheets were often deliberately filled in incorrectly
or altered by management.
Hamburg, Germany, mid-1980's Employees suffered
from wage loss due to clocking on/off practices. Workers were pressurised
to work at speed. There was a lack of cleaning cloths and there were cockroaches
in the store. USA, 1970s and l980s. John Cooke organised a flying squad
of experienced officials to counter attempts to form a union in McDonald's
stores and to ensure success for the company's anti-union position.
Bumley, UK. Feb 1991. McDonald's store taken to court over `slips and falls'.
In May 1991, McDonald's were fined £2,250 with £430 costs by Bury
Magistrates' Court for having an unguarded rubbish compactor which resulted
in an employee suffering an injury (trapped arm) and for failing to report
this accident within the specified period. The employee launched a civil
Prosecutions, UK 1991/92. Local authorities successfully prosecuted the
company on six occasions in 1991 and five times in 1992.
USA, early 1970s. Dr. Leroy Cougle, who worked for McDonald's Hamburger University, developed a psychological program - 'Personnel 1' - to influence staff opinion and behaviour at a time when unions were actively recruiting in fast food chains. He stated that, thanks to Personnel 1, the company had the unions 'pretty welll beaten down for now'. President Fred Turner engaged a Chicago management consultant firm A.T. Kearney to produce a study (known as the 'Kearney Report') of staff attitudes and the percieved threat of trade unions. John Cooke from the firm later joined McDonald's with responsibility for responding to union sympathies.
`Rap' sessions were invented primarily as a sophisticated Interrogation
technique and initially used whenever young staff showed interest in unions
or in organising themselves. This was outlined in a confidential anti-union
report produced by the Corporation in or around 1973. The report cited workers
at La Grange, Illinois and Cahokia stores and the use of rap sessions to
determine and prevent union sympathies. The report also referred to union
activity at Potsdam (NY), Phoenix (AZ) and other stores. Workers called
in safety inspectors, formed `gripe' committees, circulated petitions and
leaflets and criticised the company's tactics in undermining union elections.
McDonald's stores in the USA have been warned, cited, prosecuted, fined or otherwise criticised by the relevant authorities for violations of youth employment codes and laws. For example:
- In Billings, Montana USA, in or around April 1995, 5 McDonald's stores (run by Kiercon Ltd) were fined $7000 for child labour law violations involving 28 minors. The violations occurred between December 1992 and December 1994, and involved 14 and 15yr olds illegally working more than three hours a day on school days and after 7 p.m.
- In Fair Lawn, New Jersey, in or before December 1994, a McDonald's store was found in violation of the child labour laws in respect of a 14 year old; resulting in a fine of $900. Around the same time, at Trenton, New Jersey, a McDonald's store violated child labour laws in respect of 25 employees resulting in a fine of $10,200.
- In Sioux Falls (believed to be the South Dakota city), in or around 1992/3, the US Labor Department fined the McDonald's Corporation for child labor violations involving 179 minors at 5 local stores.
- McDonald's at 3534 Delaware Ave, Kenmore, New York State, in or before November 1992, failed to obtain employment certificates from three minors, resulting in a $750 fine.
- McDonald's at 324 W.Norberry St., Lancaster, California, in or before July 1992 was responsible for the violation of child labor hours regulations in respect of two minors. This resulted in a $1,200 fine.
- In Santa Clara/Santa Cruz/Bay Area, California, in or before June 1992 the US Dept. of Labor found that a McDonald's store was in breach of child labour laws, resulting in a fine.
- McDonald's in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in or around March to June 1990, was found to be employing 14 and 15 year old workers during improper hours in breach of child labour laws. This resulted in a fine from the US Dept of Labour.
- Up till at least June 1990 McDonald's Corporation had never terminated a franchise agreement following a franchisee's violation of child labour laws.
Infringements of child labour regulations in the USA
- In or before June 1990, McDonald's review of recent child labour regulations enforcement sweeps by officials, up to May 28th 1990, affecting 200-300 McDonald's stores in the USA in the USA indicated that 20 franchised stores (i.e. 7-10% of all McDonald's stores investigated), and also a few of their corporate-owned stores, were cited for violations of US federal or State child labour laws. The majority of the violations were primarily hour-related. Mr. Sta Stein, for McDonald's, admitted this to be the case in verbal and written testimony to the US Congress Sub-Committe on Employment and Housing on June 8th 1990.
- Some further corporate-owned McDonald's stores had also violated state child labour regulations before the sweep in early 1990.
- On June 4th 1990 the State of Wisconsin Dept of Labor cited a corporate-owned McDonald's in Milwaukee for 65 violations - 32 children were working beyond curfew, 27 were working more than 8-hr days, 4 working more than 40-hr weeks, 2 working without a permit and 1 was working during school hours.
Southend, UK 1992/3. McDonald's fined £1000 on 7.5.93 for raw sewage
being discovered in the food preparation area, December 31, 1992. An Emergency
prohibition Notice for `insanitary premises' had been served.
2. FURTHER AND BETTER PARTICULARS OF THE PARTICULARS OF JUSTIFICATION
AND FAIR COMMENT
- Further or in the alternative, the words complained of in their natural
and ordinary meaning are true in substance and in fact. In so far as it
may be necessary, the Defendants will rely on Section 5 of the Defamation
- Particulars of justification will be served separately.
Specifying, in relation to each plaintiff, the defamatory meanings which
the Defendants seek to justify.
The Defendants seek to justify the following meanings in respect of each
- There is a high turnover rate of staff at the restaurants operated or
franchised by the First and/or Second Plaintiffs. It is not unusual for
staff to leave after only a few weeks. Further, staff often have to work
in the evening and at weekends, which can involve long hours inevitably
spent in a hot, smelly and noisy environment. Further, it is extremely difficult
to improve the terms and conditions of work at the restaurants of the First
and/or Second Plaintiff by trade union negotiations since there is no specific
trade union for staff. Further, the First and Second Plaintiff discourage
trade unions and this has on occasion led to the dismissal of pro-union
workers. Further, the young people who work in the restaurants operated
or franchised by the First and Second Plaintiff contribute towards the huge
profits made by the First and Second Plaintiff. Without these workers such
profits would not be made and the First and Second Plaintiff are to that
extent dependent upon them. Further, the absence of a national minimum wage
means that the First and Second Plaintiffs can pay their workers what they
like. Generally speaking the First and Second Plaintiffs are interested
in recruiting labour at the cheapest rate possible. This is exploitative,
particularly in respect of the members of certain groups such as women and
black people who are generally disadvantaged in industry.
3. FURTHER AND BETTER PARTICULARS OF TRE PARTICULARS OF JUSTIFICATION
AND FAIR COMMENT
1. OF: Employment Practices
- (i) the rates of pay paid by the Plaintiffs which are alleges to be
at or near the minimum prescribed rates;
- (ii) each and every case in which it is alleged that McDonald's has
broken the law relating to the employment of young people including criminal
offences under the Shops Act 1950, specifiying any convictions against the
Plaintiffs which are relied upon;
- (iii) each and every act of hostility by mcDonald's towards trade unions
- These are matters within the Plaintiffs own knowledge. in 1987, 1990
and 1992 the rates of pay per hour in McDonald's were as follows: (further
details will be supplied once discovery has been obtained)
|AREA|| AGE|| 7am-7pm|| 7am-11pm|| 11pm-7am
|Outside London|| Under 18|
| 1.62 |
|Inner Circle- 15 busy|
West End Stores
| 18+ ||2.75
|Outside London|| Under 18|
| 16+ ||3.05 ||3.20
| London |
MINIMUM PRESCRIBED RATES
|1987:|| 21+ ||2.10
up to 39 hours
3.15 over 39 hours
| 1990:|| 21+ ||2.58 up to 39 hours
3.87 over 39 hours
| 1992: ||21+ ||2.92 up to 39 hours|
4.38 over 39 hours
Other examples include
In the United States in 1974 a new federal law resulted in McDonald's raising
their lowest rates in a high proportion of branches from $1.65 to $1.90.
Following this period, in 1977 McDonald's lobbied nationally for exemption
for under 18's from minimum wage laws.
In the United States in 1989, the official minimum wage in Philadelphia
was $3.70 per hour. McDonald's paid $3.70 - $4.00.
- This request is oppressive as these matters are within the Plaintiff's
knowledge. However, the following are instances of McDonald's breaking the
law in relation to the employment of young people, further particulars will
be supplied once discovery has been obtained:
- (i) Golders Green Branch: in or about July 1979 Helen Naidoo a 16 year
old employee of McDonald's scheduled to work until 6pm was required to remain
at work on a busy day until 11pm.
- (ii) Orpington Branch: The Plaintiff employed a female employee aged
under 18 years of age (Mary Thomas) after midnight on 27, 28 and 29 October
1987, contrary to the Shops Act 1950. Further, in breach of the Shops Act
1950, two young employees (M. Harrison and E. Southwood) were not allowed
an 11 hour break between shifts in a 24 hour period. The former employee
between the 28th and 29th October, and the latter employee between the 30th
and 31st October 1987.
- (iii) Kentish Town Branch: Ian Stanford, aged 15, worked 86 hours in
excess of his scheduled hours in a three week period, thereby exceeding
the hours permitted by law. The excess figure of 86 hours is calculated
by subtracting the number of scheduled hours from the total number of hours
worked. The hours Ian was permitted to work were regulated by the Childrens
Act 1972. 86 hours is vastly in excess of those permitted by the Childrens
CONVICTIONS RELIED UPON:
- On 2nd November 1982 at Guildford Magistrates Court the Plaintiff (under
its former name of McDonald's Golden Arches Restaurant Limited) was convicted
of the following offences under the Shops Act 1950:
- (a) failing to keep a proper record of the hours worked and of intervals
for rest and meals for every young person employed, contrary to section
- (b) two offences of failing to allow young persons (Richard Woolridge
and Lance Mitchell) a statutory lunch break contrary to section 19:
- (c) four offences (in respect of Wendy Andrews, Christine Russell, Richard
Woolridge and Terry Higgins) of failing to allow an interval of at least
eleven hours to a young employee between shifts in a 24 hour period, contrary
to section 31;
- (d) two offences (in respect of Helen Smith and Andrew Vaughan) of employing
young persons for more than three Sundays in one month contrary to section
- (e) two offences (In respect of Michael Gelhorn and Karen Crossman)
of employing a person for more than four hours on a Sunday without their
receiving a whole holiday, contrary to section 22;
- (f) two offences (in respect of Janice Hopkins and Kenneth Devaney)
of employing young persons for hours in excess of those permitted by section
On 5th October 1984 the plaintlff (under it~ former name of McDonald's Golden
Arches Restaurant Limited) A was convicted at Slough Magistrates Court of
the following fourteen offences against the Children's Act 1972 in connection
with its employment of a child of school age, Robert Nemeth:
- (a) five offences of employing a child not over the compulsory school
leaving age for more than two hours on a school day;
- (b) five offences of employing a child not over the compulsory school
leaving age on a school day after 7pm;
- (c) three offences of employing a child not over compulsory school leaving
age on a Saturday after 7pm;
- (d) one offence of employing a child not over compulsory school leaving
age In a commercial kitchen.
- This request is oppressive as strict compliance places an unreasonable
burden on the Defendants, however the following are examples of the Plaintiffs
hostility towards trade unions, further particulars will be provided once
discovery has been obtained:
- (a) the Plaintiff states in its crew handbook that it does not permit
anyone to seek subscriptions or distribute literature within its outlets.
Notices may not be put up on the Bulletin Boards at outlets without authorisation.
These rules inhibit trade union activities and recruitment of members.
- (b) The Plaintiff's disciplinary procedure is wholly internal and has
no provision for union representation.
- (c) In or about September 1987 Mr. Paul Preston, UK president of the
Plaintiff stated to a journalist from the Financial Times that "unions
were just not necessary" at McDonald's. He also stated that the unions
had a different way of thinking, and if that started to spread within McDonald's
it would be seen in McDonald's results and sales.
- (d) On January 30th 1986 the plaintiffs sacked four workers in Madrid,
Spain who had called a meeting on January 24th 1986 to request the holding
of union elections in the Plaintiff's establishment at Gran Via in Madrid.
The Madrid Labour Court found that the plaintiffs had acted illegally and
ordered the employees reinstatement without the option of compensation.
The Plaintiffs then transferred twenty employees from the Gran Via unit
to other restaurants.
- (e) On or about December 1986 the Plaintiffs refused to allow the transport
workers union to negotiate on behalf of its workers. On or preceding the
17th of December 1986 Mr. Sid Nicholson, the chief personnel officer of
the Plaintiffs stated to a journalist from the Daily Mirror "We [the
Plaintiffs] will never negotiate wages and conditions with a union and we
discourage our staff from joining".
- (f) On or preceding the 21st August 1987 Mr. Jim Kuhn, the chief management
consultant of the Plaintiffs, speaking about the USA stated "it's the
150,000 kids out there that make us tick. If the unions succeed at McDonald's
then my job has failed".
- (g) In Dublin, Ireland in 1979, the Plaintiff's hostility to trade unions
leads to a strike and to the Labour Board recommending that McDonald's negotiate
with a trade union.
- (h) In Dublin, Ireland in 1985 the Rights Commissioner rules that two
members of staff were "unfairly dismissed" for trade union activity.
- (i) In Denmark, from 1982-1990 a Union campaign for trade union rights
at McDonald's is faced with hostility from the Plaintiff.
- (j) In Puerto Rico in the mid 1960's, McDonald's franchises were sold to a new franchiser who refused to recognise trade unions. A dispute followed and all branches of McDonald's were closed.
- (k) In Norway in or around 1984/5, in the sole branch of McDonald's
there was managerial hostility to staff union members and to union officials.
- (l) In Germany in 1984/5, McDonald's refused to allow union representation
and collective bargaining, in defiance of industrial relations laws.
- (m) In Mexico City during December 1985, McDonald's were hostile to
a union recognition campaign.
- (n) In Australia during the 1980's, McDonald's were hostile to union
campaigns, particularly over youth rates of pay. In Canberra, restaurants
with staff subject to prescribed Industrial Award minimum work conditions
were closed and later re-opened with staff not covered by the Awards.
- (o) In the Netherlands in or around 1979, McDonald's were hostile to
a union campaign over rates of pay. The union obtained a legal decision
for McDonald's to pay the "collective rate" for the industry,
rather than the lower rate.
- (p) In the United States in or around 1978/9, the Plaintiff was hostile
to a union recruitment drive. A Chicago labour court criticised McDonald's
for unlawful retaliation methods.
- (q) In the United States in or around 1980, an official union recruitment
drive in Detroit was systematically undermined by McDonald's in the lead
up to a recognition vote.
- (r) In the UK in or about May 1987 McDonald's were hostile to attempts
to start a union at the Seven Sisters branch in London.
4. FURTHER AND BETTER PARTICULARS OF THE FURTHER AND BETTER PARTICULARS
OF JUSTIFICATION AND FAIR COMMENT
UNDER ANSWER (1)
- (1) whether the Defendants intend to rely upon any example other than
those cited; if yes, giving full particulars thereof.
- (2) Full particulars in support of the assertion that in 1977 McDonald's
lobbied nationally for exemption of under 18's from minimum wage laws in
the United States.
(1) Yes, the defendants also intend to rely on the particulars stated below:
|Area|| Age|| 7am/7pm|| 7pm/llpm|| llpm/7am
| June 1986; ||Under 18 ||1.68|| 1.89 ||2.10
|London||18+ ||2.22|| 2.50|| 2.78
| Inner circle
- 13 busy West End Stores
| Under 18 ||1.72|| 1.92|| 2.11
|London|| 18+|| 2.27|| 2.53|| 2.79
- within M25
| Under 18|| 1.58|
Minimum Prescribed Rates
1986: 21+ London, £90.49
for 36 hours, overtime at one and a half times this rate. On Sundays between
7am-llpm, 28.9 per hour on top of the normal rate, between llpm-7am, 58.lp
per hour on top of the normal rate.
21+ Outside London, £87.96
for 36 hours, overtime at one and a half times this rate. On Sundays between
7am-11pm 28.1p per hour on top of the normal rate, between 11pm-7am 56.4p
per hour on top of the normal rate.
1988: 21+ 2.20 up to 39 hours 3.30 over
- (b) Ireland
Dublin 1978, 85p (Irish) per hour
- (c) Germany
1985, DM 7.50 per hour
- (d) Denmark
1985, Under 18, Kroner 34.00 per hour 18+, Kroner 49.20
- (e) Finland
1985, Norwegian Kroner, 33.00 per hour
- (f) Norway
1985, Norwegian Kroner, 33.00 per hour
- (g) Sweden
12985, 18+ Swedish Kroner 32.40 per hour
- (h) The defendants will also rely on an admission by Joanna Blackett,
senior Personnel Field Manager for McDonald's, in March 1987, that it was
an exception for employees to work more than 39 hours, but that in rare
circumstances they might have to, and they would then not get any extra
- (i) In or around August 1990, in Germany, fifty Czechoslovakian students
were employed at McDonald's at the rate of 10 DM per hour.
- (j) In Australia, McDonald's had plans to employ young people at $3
per 8 hour day on work experience schemes. There was also controversy over
low pay generally at McDonald's and their strategy of avoiding Industrial
Award minimum wage and work conditions in Canberra.
- In 1977, in the USA there was a periodic review of the Fair Labor Standards
Act. McDonald's lobbied for what became know as the McDonald's Amendment
- to exempt food chains from under 18s minimum wage laws. The result was
that small businesses were exempted for up to 6 workers at 85% of the minimum
wage. Doug Timberlake, a representative of McDonald's stated that McDonald's
supported the youth exemption. Previously, McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc,
had donated $200,000+ to the 1972 Nixon Presidential Campaign. Following
this Nixon supported efforts to have the Federal minimum wage law amended
so that employers could hire 16 and 17 year olds at 80% of the minimum wage.
UNDER ANSWER (2)
- (1) Whether the defendants intend to rely upon any instances other than
those pleaded; if yes, giving full particulars thereof;
- (2) the precise date in July 1979 when it is alleged that Helen Naidoo
was required to remain at work on a busy day after 11pm; identifying, by
the best particulars available, the identify of the employees of the Plaintiffs
who required her to do so.
- (3) the precise dates of when it is alleged that Ian Stanford, worked
86 hours in excess of his scheduled hours in a three week period at the
Kentish Town branch.
(1) Yes, the defendants will also rely on the following particulars of McDonald's
breaking the law in relation to the employment of young people:
- (a) In September 1982, at Luton Magistrates Court McDonald's admitted
6 offences relating to the employment of young people, under the Shops Act
1950, and asked for a further 40 offences to be taken into consideration.
- (b) Tottenham branch: Between Autumn 1982 - Spring 1983, employees aged
under 18 years old were required to work unlawful hours on a number of occasions.
During this time there were also a number of accidents due to oil on the
floor and the requirement to work at speed using very hot equipment.
- (c) Seven
- (d) Gravesend branch: In or around September 1987, McDonald's admitted
that an employee, Richard Aitkin, worked for more than 7 hours without any
sort of break on at least two occasions, and on eight occasions was also
required to work in excess of 39 hours per week.
- (e) Northfield branch, West Midlands: In or around 1989 an employee
aged under 18, Gary Davis was required to work in excess of 39 hours in
one week on a number of occas ions
- (f) In or around 1979 in Dublin, McDonald's committed four breaches
of the Young Persons Employment Act.
- (g) Pennsylvania, USA: In the winter of 88/89, Pennsylvania Authorities
cited McDonald's franchisee, Micale management, for 466 violations of child
labour laws at its eight stores in the Philadelphia and Levittown area.
- (h) The defendants will also rely on the implicit acknowledgement of
regular contravention of child employment laws in an internal McDonald's
UK memorandum written in or around 1987.
- Further, the defendants will contend that the Plaintiff's broke the
law (not only in relation to young employees) and/or failed to set up and
maintain a safe place of work and/or a safe system of working and/or caused
or permitted employees to work in poor or degrading conditions. The following
- (a) UK industrial tribunal applications/hearings, with dates and places
of the hearings:
- A. O. Anyameluna, London North, 28.5.91.
- M. C. Donachie, Sheffield, 6.8.91
- M. Logan, Bristol, 20.3.92.
- V. Kerr, London North, 23.3.92
- N. Brannan, Leeds, 14.4.92
- S.J. St. John, Southampton, 19.5.92
- K. Pearson, Birmingham, 23.6.92
- L. Scafe, Nottingham, 17.7.92
- M.J. Tompkins, Birmingham, 25.9.92
- B. Adekoya, Liverpool, 29.9.92.
- T.L. Watson, Nottingham, 5.10.92.
- L.A. Henry, Manchester, 12.10.92.
- D. Townsend, Bristol, 27.3.91, Case No. 2980/91
- C.G. Vince, Southampton, 30.4.91, Case No.9679/91
- B. Patel, Birmingham, 24.5.91, Case No.9679/91
- D. Dean, Manchester, 17.8.92. Case No.18491/92
- C. Williams, Newcastle, 30.11.91, Case No.3778/92
- (c) In the UK, Newcastle, in April 1992, McDonald's employee Helen Calderwood,
received a lenient sentence after Magistrates decided that she had committed
a criminal offence after being pressurised by store management to do so
or face the sack. The manager was later jailed for six months for inducing
her to make a hoax bomb call claiming that there was a bomb in Burger King,
in order to boost McDonald's profits.
- (d) In the UK, in or around May 1991, Sarah Stibbards was injured and
received a paid settlement for her injuries.
- (e) In the 1980's in the Philippines, McDonald's franchisee developed
the employment of young people in order to peg labour costs to 9% of sales.
- (f) In or around 1989/90 in Barbados, McDonald's opened their first
store, and introduced the practice of hiring cheap holiday labour from schools.
- (g) On 12 October 1992 at Manchester McDonald's, an employee, Mark Hopkins
was killed by electrocution whilst at work.
- (h) In May 1987 at Seven Sisters branch, London, McDonald's failed to
provide gloves for employees, including Dave McGee, who were required to
work in the refrigeration area, contrary to Health and Safety regulations.
- (i) In Germany in 1980's, McDonald's failed to provide gloves for employee
Gunther Walraff, when he was required to work in the refrigeration area.
- (j) In or around January 1986, at East Ham McDonald's, Peter Sutcliffe
was scarred in an accident, due to unsafe conditions.
- (k) In May 1991, McDonald's was fined £2,250 for dangerous work
conditions and failing to notify the authorities of a serious accident.
- (l) In or around September 1987, at Gravesend McDonald's, employee Richard
Aitkin suffered a burn injury, due to unsafe working conditions.
- (m) Between Autumn 1982-Spring 1983, at Tottenham McDonald's there was
a dangerous working environment due to oil on the floor and also being required
to work at speed using very hot equipment.
- (n) Between 1985-1989, at Seven Sisters McDonald's there were a number
of accidents due to oil on the floor and also the requirement to work at
speed using very hot equipment. One of these accidents involved Viona Byfield,
who was scarred by a burn. Due to low staffing levels, there was often heavy
pressure of work, long hours and lack of proper breaks. Also during thts
time a female employee who developed varicose veins during 10 years employment
by McDonald's was refused retirement.
- (p) In the USA an employee of McDonald's was killed after falling asleep
at the wheel of his car after working all night. In March 1991, a court
declared that McDonald's was liable and ordered them to pay $400,000 to
the injured passenger.
- (q) Between July-September 1985 at Shaftesbury Avenue McDonald's, London,
due to low staffing levels employees often worked long hours without breaks.
On occasions employees were sent home arbitrarily when custom was slack.
- (r) The defendants will also contend that the plaintiffs put pressure
on branch management to keep labour costs below 15% of takings, thus resulting
in low staffing levels, which puts undue pressure on employees to work at
- (2) There is no allegation that Helen Naidoo worked after 11pm.
- (3) Ian Stanford worked in excess of his scheduled hours in or around
Spring 1987, over a three week period, while he was still attending school.
UNDER ANSWER (3)
- Each and every example other than those pleaded upon which the Defendants
intend to rely at trial, including full particulars thereof.
- In relation to the examples relied upon at sub-paragraphs (g) , (i)
, (j), (k) , (m), (n) , (0), (P) and (r), full particulars of every act
or incident of hostility relied upon, including details of every relevant
date, document and conversation, including the
- In relation to sub-paragraph (1), full particulars of how it is alleged
that McDonald's refused to allow union representation and collective bargaining,
giving the like particulars as under (2) above.
- In relation to sub-paragraph (q), full particulars of how it is alleged
McDonald's systematically undermined an official union recruitment drive
in Detroit, giving the like particulars as under (2) above.
(1) The defendants will also rely on the following further examples of McDonald's
hostility towards Trade Unions:
(s) Assistant Manager of West Ealing McDonald's, Andrew Cranna, admitted
in or around November 1987, that the McDonald's management system operates
In such a way that any active member of a union will not be tolerated.
(t) The Assistant Manager of Kentish Town McDonald's, Lynval, admitted on
or around 1 April 1987 that McDonald's were totally anti-union and that
if anyone wanted to start a Union, McDonald's would hear about it and would
(u) Siamak Alimi, an employee at the Colchester branch between October 1985
and August 1987, was told by managers that if anyone joined a Union or even
seriously considered joining a Union they would be sacked, but that the
management would not attribute the sacking to trade union activities. Paul
Jackson, an employee who was interested in joining a Union was sacked in
this way, and a manager told Mr. Alimi that Mr. Jackson was sacked for anti-
management activities, and for being a member of the MFF - McDonald's Freedom
Fighters. Mr. Alimi talked about the possibilities of a Union to other staff,
and the Manager Trudie Jones later approached him saying "We don't
want any talking about Unions in this place".
(v) In or around 1987/88, Phil Pearson, a TGWU official (catering), was
refused access to at least two stores (Warren Street and Narrow Way, Hackney),
despite asking managers to meet staff during their break times.
(w) In or around summer 1983, at Regent Street McDonald's, employee C. Brown
wished to join a Union. In discussions between herself, another employee
`Susan', who expressed an interest in joining a union, and a manager, the
manager stated that McDonald's were too strong to allow a union and that they would smash it by sacking any staff who joined. The other employee 'Susan' was sacked within a fortnight of starting the job, and C.Brown was sacked shortly after this.
(x) In or around January 1986, at East Ham McDonald's, concern over the
conditions in the store led to employees discussing joining the TGWU. One
employee, Peter Sutcliffe joined but other employees including A. Wilson
were given the impression they would be sacked, and were too frightened
(y) In or around 1985 at Hackney McDonald's when employees attempted to
organise in a Union, the active members were harassed and/or sacked.
(z) In or around August 1990 at Regensburg McDonald's, Germany, a staff
association was set up. A member of this association Rosi Fischer, left
after harassment. At around the same time another employee Gisela Neumeier,
was harassed for NGG Union activities. She was asked to leave by management,
but refused, she was then transferred to another store. She was prevented
from talking to colleagues and was given inappropriate shifts to work (she
had two children. Despite over six years of working without critisism, she
was now subject to constant criticism. Around this time the NGG Union exposed
that McDonald's francjisee, Mosher Ltd, was employing fifty Czechoslovakian
students at McDonald's on wages of 10DM per hour, who were housed in a tent
(A) In or around 1986 in Marseilles, France, McDonald's were hostile to
a Force Ouvriere Union recruitment campaign. Employees sympathetic to the
Union were victimised and isolated by management.
(B) In or around 1985, in Montpelier, France, McDonald's were hostile to
a CFDT Union recruitment campaign. The CFDT held elections and won 2/3rds
of the vote, but were forced to hold the election again. A CFDT delegate
was refused entry to the store.
(C) In or around 1989/90 in Philadelphia, USA, in response to a community
campaign over wage rates at McDonald's, the first Plaintiff prepared an
anti-union strategy in case employees began to join.
(D) In or around April 1986, the Austrian Federation of Labour publictsed
that McDonald's employees were in fear of losing their jobs if they discussed
joining a trade union, a female employee made a public statement on this.
(E) In or around 1974, In San Francisco, USA, following the Labor Board's
order to McDonald's to cease use of lie detectors against potential union
sympathizers when hiring staff, Unions opposed the wages and conditions
set for new McDonald's stores which were applying for permission to open.
In response, McDonald's mounted a public relations exercise, handing out
free burgers at public events, and refused to negotiate with the Trade Unions.
(F) In or around 1983, in the USA, McDonald's were hostile to the United
Farmworkers & Commercial Union (UFW). In an attempt to improve workers conditions
the UFW called a boycott of Tyson Foods, McDonald's poultry supplier, but
McDonald's continued to place orders with the firm. This policy was only
changed when the UFW subsequently extended their boycott to McDonald's.
(G) In August 1983, in the USA, there was a strike by staff at Hardins Bakeries
Corporation of Meridian, who were McDonald's suppliers. McDonald's showed
hostility to trade union calls for support by increasing their orders to
the company, therefore encouraging the hiring of strikebreakers.
(H) In or around 83/84, in the USA, McDonald's continued to purchase the
produce of Freshco/Bruce Church Ltd, despite a UFW Union labor dispute running
since 1979. However when the UFW extended their boycott to McDonald's, they
then stopped buying Freshco's produce.
(2) The following further particulars of the examples relied upon at sub-paragraphs
(g), (i), (j), (k), (m), (n), (o), (p) and (r) are given:
(g) The strike in Dublin was by members of ITGWU (No.4 branch), and lasted
from March 16th to September 10th 1979. The strike was to demand Union recognition
and an end to low pay (85p ph). McDonald's attempted to obtain an injunction
to halt picketing. The Labor Board recommended that McDonald's negotiate
with the Trade Union, and this was eventually agreed by both parties. However
striker Jimmy Mackin was refused his job back, and Anne Holmes and Tom Caufield
from the strike committee had their job status reduced.
(i) In Denmark, a staff handbook given to McDonald's employees between 1982
and 1990, says that making a statement to a trade union is grounds for dismissal.
The LLO youth Trade Union picketed McDonald's first store, McDonald's attempted
to suppress criticism by obtaining a Court order. The HRF Union took up
the `banned' themes without action by McDonald's. In autumn 1983, HRF initiated
negotiations with McDonald's, lawyer, trying to arrange a collective agreement
for staff similar to a national agreement covering many similar companies
in the catering industry. This agreement included guaranteed income, hours
of work, sickness benefit, the right to notice and overtime rights. McDonald's
pulled out of the negotiations. In Spring 1985 McDonald's again refused
to negotiate. In September 1988, McDonald's broke off year long negotiations
with Unions over staff rights. A Trade Union publicity and boycott campaign,
involving blocking of supplies was launched, with support from Trade Unions
in other countries. McDonald's tried but failed to ban the Trade Union boycott
stickers. In May 1989 after two months of negotiations McDonald's finally
accepted the Trade Union agreement over staff conditions. After this the
Trade Union protests were called off.
(j) In Puerto Rtco in the mid 1960'S the Hotel &
Restaurants Employees Union was elected to represent workers at all McDonald's
stores. After negotiated improvements in conditions, all the franchises
were sold to a new franchiser who was hostile to the Union. A 9 month strike
the followed, McDonald's then closed all the stores and pulled out of the
(k) In Norway in or around 1984/5, in the only McDonald's store the three
main union activists were obliged by management to leave, and told to keep
away, and new staff were told not to join the Union.
(m) In December 1985,
five weeks after the first
McDonald's store in Mexico City opened, the National Union ( of Restaurant,
Hotel, Canteen, Sports Centre, Tourism and Allied and Related Workers, sought
union recognition, McDonald's were hostile to this. Between 3-20th December
there were round the clock pickets of the store by the Union, closing the
store. The Labour Arbitration Board persuaded McDonald's to recognise a
union and following this 210 employees became union members.
(n) In Australia during the 1980's, the Canberra restaurants which were
closed to avoid prescribed Industrial Award minimum work conditions had
been directly operated by McDonald's, they were then franchised and re-opened
1-2 years later. In another State, McDonald's took legal action to stop
the campaign. A McDonald's employee made a sworn statement to the Liquor
Trade Union, that pay and conditions were poor, and that staff were in fear
of losing their jobs if they joined a trade union. After his parents had
complained over his working conditions he was sacked.
(o) In the Netherlands in or around 1979, a trade union obtained a legal
decision, opposed by McDonald's, to increase rates of pay from the legal
minimum wage to the official 'collective' rate for the industry. McDonald's
continued to oppose union efforts to secure certain compensations and work
classifications. A McDonald's franchisee 'Family Food' often breached agreements
to inform unions before any contracts for new franchised stores were agreed.
(p) In Chicago, in January 1978, following a majority vote for Union affiliation
in a Chicago McDonald's, an employee who was a member of the Hotel & Restaurant
Employees Union, asked for Union recognition. The store management tried
to persuade employees not to join, by running an anti union publicity campaign
and by providing `sweeteners' for staff (party, sports clothes, free meals,
enlarged cloakrooms with music). To divide the two main activists, one was
offered promotion and the other's work was criticised. These tactics against
the Union were criticised by the Labor Board.
(r) In or around May 1987, at Seven Sisters McDonald's, London, union leaflets
belonging to Union member Dave McGee were taken from his locker by management
in an attempt to prevent unionisation.
(3) In relation to sub-paragraph (1), in fact the hostility to trade unions
in Germany occurred throughout the 1980's. In 1979 the McDonald's personnel
office sent instructions to store managers not to hire any union sympathizers.
The unions reacted to this and to general conditions for staff. In 1983
McDonald's staff contract contained less rights (re overtime, night work,
holidays, discharge and breach of contract), than the national Union-Employer
Association agreement for the catering industry. The NGG brought a legal
case before the courts over McDonald's and its employment practices. Legal
action was threatened by McDonald's against the NGG Union to try to halt
the distribution of leaflets to workers and the public. In or around 1985/6,
the NGG Union in Rhineland and Westphalia launched a publicity campaign
over McDonald's refusal to allow Works Council elections (as is normal in
Germany and in the catering industry), union recognition and basic staff
rights. The NGG continued to put pressure on McDonald's until 1990, when
McDonald's finally accepted union-negotiated agreements.
(4) In relation to sub-paragraph (q) in or around 1980 in Detroit, USA,
the Detroit Fast Food Workers Union met hostility in its recruitment drive
when it filed for elections at three McDonald's stores. McDonald's undermined
union support by responding with `sweeteners' for staff (celebrity visits,
McBingo trips and a staff disco on the eve of the election). On the day
of the election, paycheques were altered to give the impression that union
recognition would lead to wage problems.
5. FURTHER AND BETTER PARTICULARS OF THE AMENDED PARTICULARS OF JUSTIFICATION
MID FAIR COMMENT
5. of: "In particular in the United Kingdom as a result of the Wages
Act 1986 McDonald's is no longer bound to pay any minimum rate of pay to
employees aged under 21 years. Low paid work is often the only work available
to women and black people".
Stating whether it is alleged that the Plaintiffs exploit women and/or black
people by paying them less than the minimum wage and/or in some other manner,
and if so what; if yes, giving full particulars of each and every act of
exploitation relied upon including the identities of all those concerned
therein (including for the avoidance of doubt the identity of the relevant
servants or agents of the Plaintiffs), and the date and place thereof.
It is the Defendants' case that the Plaintiffs' pay low wages for the work
done by their employees and that low paid work is often the only work available
to many women and black people.